Following the deferment from last week’s Cabinet meeting on this item, the Strategic Lead Governance & Licensing reminded members that in late 2021, Cabinet and Council agreed that a Community Governance Review be undertaken following a request from the Colyford Village Residents’ Association. In July 2022 Cabinet agreed to the principle of a new parish being created and draft proposals were formally published. The second statutory period of consultation expired on the 22nd November 2022 and this report now recommends alternative decisions for the Cabinet and Council to consider. He reiterated some of the responses from the consultation with 56% of respondents in favour to the establishment of a new parish council in Colyford.
Discussions included the following:
· 2 communities were stronger together
· This had not been discussed fully with the residents of both villages
· Any under investment in Colyford was not down to Colyton Parish Council
· People could not be fully informed when filling out the questionnaire as the boundary review had not taken place at this time
· It was not fair to say that Colyton Parish Council was wealthy
· This would have huge effects on Colyton Parish Council’s finances and the expenses involved in maintaining its assets
· People should be allowed to vote on this as this was not democratic on the lack of information on the questionnaire
· This was an accepted part of political life now with localism and general devolution – this was a micro version of what was happening nationally
· Colyford was now of a size so as to determine its own future
· The initial consultation was quite telling with the figures speaking for themselves for reorganisation
· Parish Councils exist to serve its parishioners, there should be a spirit of cooperation and working together.
RECOMMENDED to Council to;
establish a new Parish Council for the area known as ‘Colyford’ and;
· That the boundary be as detailed in Appendix I and paragraph 17
· That the new Parish Council be known as ‘Colyford Parish Council’
· That the Membership will comprise of 7 councillors
· That no warding provisions are incorporated in the Parish Council
· That the membership of Colyton Parish Council be reduced from 13 to 11 councillors
· That these recommendations are duly published and the appropriate Order made with delegated authority given to the Chief Executive to incorporate all necessary provisions into the Order and to make any supplementary arrangements as may be necessary. In order to facilitate this Members considered the Vesting Statements provided by the Colyford Village Residents’ Association and comments from the Colyton Parish Council and give a view on the acceptability of what is requested. Members agreed;
o VS1 – land at Stafford Common (shown hatched green on Appendix I) be transferred to the new Colyford Parish Council but otherwise the request be denied
o VS2 – if the play equipment (and any land interest) is vested in Colyton Parish Council then this should be transferred to the new Colyford Parish Council
o VS3 – responsibility for the parish gateways be transferred to the new Colyford Parish Council
o VS4 – the £10,000 held by Colyton Parish Council and ring-fenced for road safety projects in in Colyford be transferred to the new Colyford Parish Council and for it to be similar ring-fenced if possible
o VS5 – request be denied
o VS6 – review whether there are any CIL receipts for 2021/22 and 2022/23 within the proposed boundary and if legally permissible seek a transfer of those funds to the new Colyford Parish Council but otherwise the request be denied
o VS7 – request be denied
· That it be noted the Parish Council will come into formal legal effect on the 1st
April 2023 and the first elections will be held in May 2023.
· Agree a budget of £12,350 + VAT to pay Capita to implement the changes to the Council Tax system.
In accordance with the provisions of Part 4 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007; the principal legal framework within which councils must undertake these reviews.
Members will recall that the rationale for undertaking this review arose from a 249 signature petition which claimed that: ‘The community of Colyford has thus clearly expressed their wish for a village council to be set up, and this should be given considerable weight. We have shown that Colyford has its own identity and sense of place, and that community cohesion will be enhanced by having its own village council. We have shown that a village council for Colyford will be effective and convenient, and will provide strong and accountable local government and community leadership. We therefore respectfully request that East Devon
District Council exercise their powers under the Act and undertake a Community Governance Review and recommend the formation of a village council for Colyford.’
Cabinet considered the outcome of the first stage statutory consultation exercise at its meeting of 13th July 2022 and agreed, on the basis of the guidance and consultation responses, to publish draft proposals for consideration. This report reviews the second stage statutory consultation responses and presents options for Cabinet and Council to consider as to how to conclude the community governance review.